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Post op recovery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am due to have fussion of L4, L5 and possibly S5 with instrumentation.

I work as a teacher. I know each case is different but how long can expect before I am ble to retrun to work? My jobsinvolves a lot of standing,jostling in corridors and stairs.


  • I would say that three months is the absolute minimum, and that is only if everything in recovery goes very well. Six months is perhaps more realistic. If you get bumped a lot, I would ask for a brace and wear it in the hallways until you are fully fused. It really takes an entire year until the fusion is really set and strong. It will show as fused earlier, but in reality, is not necessarily completely fused.
  • I had fusion July 29, this summer. I am also a teacher and had concerns about how much time I would need. I am still on leave and have another month to go. I am so glad that I had enough sick leave built up to take this much time off paid. There are some days when I feel pretty good and think I am ready to go back, but there are many days that I know I would not be able to get through a day of standing, bending over students desks, and hall duty. And yes, there is a concern about getting bumped int he hallway. Most folks here say a minimum of 3 months and I agree. I was encouraged by other teachers here not to rush back and if there are leave issues to try to wait until spring to have the surgery so you can also have the summer to recuperate. I could not wait. I just wish I had done this last spring instead of trying to tough it out through the end of the last school year. Good luck and keep in touch.
  • Hi Peter, teachers will come out of the woodwork for this question, as we all face the same challenges of trying to return to such a demanding profession..

    I agree w/ Jan in that if you CAN wait a few more months until the end of 1st semester, have it done then & use second semester + summer to recover. If you have a 1 level, you MIGHT be good to return in 4-5 months, but w/ a 2 level, I would predict you'll need 6-9. And that's w/o any complications..that's just from the "wiped-out" feeling you have after surgery of this magnitude & how LONG it takes to really get any consistent strength back, as Jan says. I always said "One good day in a row". Add to that the standing, bending (no-no until you fuse) & possible bumping/jostling by students, etc.

    Wait if you can, have it done after Christmas, take second semester off + summer & by next Fall, you should be OK. That's what I did, altho I wore my brace to school all year last year to remind EVERYONE not to get too close & also for some stability for my wrecked paraspinals that took forever to heal. (And still always hurt.)

    Keep us posted!~ Peter, what grade/level do you teach? Elementary is brutal--maybe you are in middle or high school where there is less potential for accidental "physical contact" w/ stuidents?

    Best wishes~!

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